Top five tips to surviving the silly season

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and yet for many of us, it’s also the most chaotic. Between making plans with the relatives, deciding what to bring to Chrissy lunch, and gift wrapping what feels like a thousand presents, trying to get through the silly season can sometimes drive us, well… silly! But Christmas is a time for joy and celebration, not stress and anxiety. So, with December 25th fast approaching, take note of our top five tips for getting through this season, and let your days be truly merry and bright.

1. Plan the menu ahead

One of the first things people think of when they think of Christmas celebrations is the food – which means this is likely to be one of your biggest sources of anxiety. Thankfully, food-related Christmas stress is easy to combat. At least one month ahead of the day, start to plan your Christmas lunch spread. Once you’ve organised this, it’s time to hit the supermarket. If the item has a long shelf-life or can be stored in the freezer, get it ASAP. If not, get it as far ahead as you can without compromising its freshness.

2. Share the load

Once you’ve settled on a menu, don’t feel shy to delegate tasks to guests. Have each guest or family bring a plate of food – taking into consideration each person’s skills and specialities – and make sure to cover all necessary dishes: meats, salads, desserts and nibbles. After you’ve established who’s bringing what, the task of organising Christmas becomes a lot easier.

3. Spend time with family

At the end of the day Christmas is about family, and it’s important to remember this. If you find yourself getting frazzled by Christmas preparations, take a break and spend some time with family. A trip to the beach or the cinema can work wonders, and there are always plenty of fun, free Christmas activities on throughout the month that are great for kids, big and small. Whatever you do, make sure you let yourself relax and simply enjoy the company of your loved ones.

4. Do your gift shopping early

Unlike food shopping, gift shopping can (thankfully) be done quite early on. To make the job easier for yourself, don’t be afraid to ask loved ones what they’d like for Christmas – or better yet, ask them for a wish list. Then simply pick an item, and hit the shops. From here, there are two main ways to get your Christmas shopping done – you can spend a day getting everything you need in one go, or you can make several smaller trips to break the task down. Whatever you choose, aim to have everything done at least ten days before Christmas to avoid the mad rush (and lack of parking!).

5. Make time for yourself

Amidst all the craziness of the season, it’s crucial to set aside some ‘alone time’ for you to unwind and de-stress. Whether its reading a book, going for a swim, or even having a nap, be sure to do something that allows both your mind and body to relax and refresh – and make sure you’re free from interruptions! Give yourself at least an hour a day and keep your sanity this silly season.

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